(Reuters) - The remarkable rise of Brendon Todd showed no sign of waning when he charged into the third-round lead at the RSM Classic in Georgia on Saturday.
Todd, seeking a rare hat-trick of consecutive victories on the PGA Tour, used another metronic long game display and a sublime performance on the greens to card eight-under-par 62 on the Seaside course at Sea Island.
It was just about the worse score he could have shot, as he lipped out several putts, including a 30-foot birdie chance at the last that left him laughing when it caught a large part of the cup but refused to drop.
He birdied six of the first nine holes to turn in 29 strokes, before picking up two more shots coming home to pull two shots ahead of fellow American Webb Simpson (63) and Colombian Sebastian Munoz (66).
"The start today was just incredible. I thought I could have kept it going if some of those putts had gone in but I'll take 62 any day of the week," Todd told Golf Channel after posting an 18-under 194 total with one round left.
He hit every fairway and missed only one green in regulation.
"I holed some beautiful putts and hit a few more that looked like they were going in and just caught the edge," said the 34-year-old.
"Of all the rounds I've had, today felt like the (best chance for) 59 and still missed it by three, so that's how hard it is to shoot 59."
Todd won on the PGA Tour in 2014 but two years later lost his card and almost quit the game after developing a case of the full-swing yips.
He credits his resurrection to Australian instructor Brad Hughes, a former PGA Tour player whose swing was always regarded as a thing of beauty.
Todd was ranked 525th in the world before winning the Bermuda Open three weeks ago.
He followed up with victory at last week's Mayakoba Classic in Mexico, and is now ranked 83rd.
He is 68 under par for his past 12 rounds.
A win on Sunday would make Todd the first player since Tiger Woods in 2006 to win three consecutive PGA Tour events.
Dustin Johnson in 2017 was the last to win three straight starts, though he had a couple of weeks off during that run.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris and Daniel Wallis)